Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
NJDevs4978

Official 2012 New York Mets Thread

1,024 posts in this topic

Now that pitchers and catchers are reporting, time to start a new season thread. Hopefully our younger players continue to develop and our vets can have bounceback seasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is definitely a "hope for the best" kind of season, maybe the kind of season where everything breaks perfectly and the team wins 85-89 games and/or contends for a WC spot for a while, but that seems like a longshot. If this team finishes with 80-84 wins, and the Harveys and the Wheelers make progress in the minors, and Alderson continues to fortify the farm, then this year will have been a success.

And hopefully David Wright has a truly good bounceback year, and not one twisted into a "good" year via sabermetric voodoo. The walls coming in is the best move made by the Mets in the offseason to date.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did my own projections a month or so ago and came up with about 74 wins:

29zrcqh.png

The x's are holes on the roster right now, which have no values and thus are considering replacement level. Obviously I tried to be conservative on some of these projections too.

But 74-ish wins appears to be a good marker considering RLYW ran some early simulations using Marcel and CAIRO (2 projection systems) a few weeks ago and they both came up with 75 wins. But in any case, everybody knows this is another rebuilding year. What's most important is going to be the development of the young players on the roster and the continued improvement and development of the farm.

Some thoughts on some players...

I think Niese will take a big step forward this year. His ERA last season was a big time mirage given his strikeout, walk, and groundball rates. He's not going to be an ace but he's also not going to be the back-end starter his ERA painted him out to be last season.

Ruben Tejada is not Jose Reyes but he has the chance to be an average regular. He won't steal many bags or hit more than a couple homeruns but he does one thing pretty well, and that's get on base. This may seem a little shocking, but of shortstops with at least 300 PA last season, Tejada's .360 OBP was 4th best behind just Reyes, Troy Tulowitzki, and Yunel Escobar.

Duda should hit. He was one of the better hitting rookies in baseball last season and he has a nice, balanced offensive skillset. It's not crazy to believe he may turn out a better hitter than Ike, but it's still a little early to say that just yet. However, he's also large and slow, and his defense and baserunning will be negatively affected by that. His overall skillset reminds me a lot of Jason Kubel.

Murphy's defensive abilities at second base is anyone's guess right now but he was great with the bat last season. His bat will probably regress some, but if he can be not-awful defensively, he should be fine.

Andres Torres doesn't have much of a future with this team, and I'm not sure how much he'll hit, but he's one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball, which should be fun to watch. Kirk Nieuwenhuis is a near-Major League ready outfielder who could wind up displacing him (or Bay) at some point this summer.

Ike appears to be healthy, which is great to hear. This may sound nutty now, but if he and Duda are similar hitters next season, I'd be very open to shopping Ike next winter. Duda (who will almost certainly need to be moved out of RF) may not be the defender Ike is at 1B, but if he can hit similarly while Ike brings back a nice prospect package in return, the trade-off could be well worth it.

I'm sure a lot will be made of David Wright and a possible trade, but don't expect anything to go down this summer. If he's dealt, he can void his 2013 club option, which basically makes him a rental player for whoever acquires him prior to the deadline. To add, the acquiring team would not be able to recoup compensation draft picks when Wright walked after the season due to a new rule under the new CBA. Those two factors likely equate to a diminished return for the Mets in a deal, unless he hit likes crazy a la Carlos Beltran last season (not likely). The best time to trade him will be next winter.

There isn't much else to comment on; Thole has been about a league average hitter so far, which works at catcher, but he needs to show better defensive chops for me to be convinced he's starting catcher material. Bay is bleh - he looks like a platoon player at this point and I doubt the walls moving in will help him; the sooner his contract expires, the better. The bench won't be that good but the bullpen has the potential to be pretty decent, though know that relievers are a volatile bunch.

Anyway, I'm excited for spring to start. I realize this team isn't likely going to contend next season (though I will warn, never say never*), but between the young players on the roster and the developing farm, it's not all hopeless, trust me. Plus, at least for me, baseball is my favorite sport; no matter how great or horrible my team may be projected to be, the baseball season is always something I really look forward to.

*:

There are scenarios where a team is so far away from contending that the value of a marginal win is quite small (the 2012 Astros are in such a situation, for instance), but ~75 win teams are not in that position. While wins 85 to 92 have the largest impact on on a potential playoff berth, there’s still quite a bit of value in improving a roster that is only a few players away from being a .500 club.

The reality of a 162 game season is that every year, one or two teams are the benefactors of significant good fortune, and they destroy their pre-season estimate by 15+ wins. Whether it’s a bunch of guys having career years at the same time, the entire pitching staff staying healthy, winning a bunch of one-run games due to timely hitting or pitching, or just a group of young kids making a larger than expected impact on the big league team, the surprising upstart is an annual tradition at this point. Last year, the Diamondbacks improved by 29 games and won their division going away, despite generally being considered an also-ran before the season started. In 2010, the Reds won their division after finishing in the bottom 10 in the league in winning percentage the year before, and the Padres went from one of the worst teams in baseball to missing out on a playoff spot on the final day of the season. The Rockies went from 74 to 92 wins in in 2009. The 2008 Rays won 31 more games than the season prior and ended up in the World Series. Both the Cubs and Diamondbacks went worst-to-first in 2007. In 1990, the Twins won 74 games and finished dead last in a seven team division, but in 1991, they won the World Series – and that was back when only two teams made the playoffs each year.

The current reality is that a 75 win team is a few good breaks away from playing meaningful baseball in September, and even if it doesn’t result in a playoff spot, that kind of unexpected contention can have a significant positive effect on a franchise.

http://www.ussmariner.com/2012/01/30/the-mariners-off-season-should-not-be-over/

Edited by nmigliore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds pretty fair nmig. We'll all go in hoping for better, hoping for surprises, but 75 wins or so really has to be considered a par performance for this group. At least we don't have to listen to Omar's endless "if" scenarios anymore...he'd have us trying to believe that this is somehow a bona-fide wild-card contender, built on the "ifs" he was so fond of.

If Santana pitches anywhere near his prime form, who knows...maybe someone offers something for him and the Mets can get out from at least part of the money owed on that deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What does everyone think about the underdog shirts?

It's not going to make them play any better, nor will it make them play any worse. I know Wright didn't like them, but it was just a cheesy effort to get them motivated or something. It receives a lot of attention because it's early spring and nobody has anything to write about (besides players reporting In The Best Shapes of Their Lives, because we can't have enough of those!).

The Mets' 1st spring game is next Monday at 6pm vs the Nats and it will be on SNY. For those who want to check out Matt Harvey for the first time, I'd tune it. He'll probably only throw an inning or 2 (at three-quarters effort), but hey, it's at least something. Also, Gee is scheduled to start that game, and he's rocking an amazingly-awful goatee. That alone is worth seeing.

Screen-shot-2012-02-15-at-6.34.42-PM-580x394.png

Edited by nmigliore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well this could be bad news:

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets' Spring Training camp has been open -- officially -- for a week. And thus far, Ike Davis has "done everything I'm supposed to do."

Whether that statement will be applicable each day come April is an unknown that makes his manager and Davis himself squirm. Davis is not the picture of health. He has, in fact, contracted Valley or Desert Fever, a malady that can interfere with a season and even end a career.

...

Davis, reluctant to speak publicly about the illness, did so Saturday. "I have to keep my immune system strong," he said. "No one has told me for sure what it is, and I haven't asked. But they're pretty positive it is [Valley Fever]. I'm trying to be positive about it. I'll just be careful the way they tell me to be careful."

...

Davis, who turns 25 in three weeks, believed he had no such problem when he returned from New York. The club characterized what had been detected as an infection in the lung. It said no antibiotic treatment was necessary. At the time, Davis already was quite aware of former Diamondbacks player Conor Jackson, who missed most of his 2009 season because of Valley Fever.

And Collins had witnessed the debilitating of Joe Vavra, now the Twins' batting coach, when he and Vavra were with the Dodgers. Collins noted that, in Vavra's case, one of the symptoms that developed was a hole in the lung. Vavra's playing career never resumed.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120303&content_id=26980142&vkey=news_nym&c_id=nym&partnerId=rss_nym

This really sucks to hear.

With Duda being a logical replacement for Ike if he needs DL time, this could boost Kirk Nieuwenhuis' chances of making the Opening Day roster. I don't want to jump too far ahead of everything, but if Ike were to open the season on the DL, they'd be better off sliding Murphy over to 1B (with Turner at 2B) with Kirk in AAA instead. Wait a few weeks, then promote Kirk and stick him in RF, Duda to 1B, and Murphy back to 2B. The idea behind delaying Kirk's debut is to have him hit free agency in 2019 instead of 2018.

Of course, all that other stuff is pretty minor relative to the main story. I really hope Ike is alright.

Edited by nmigliore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When will this organization stop being cursed? Goddamn it never fvcking ends...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When will this organization stop being cursed? Goddamn it never fvcking ends...

It could be nothing too severe or it could be bad. Conor Jackson had a severe case of this in 2009 and played in only 30 games.

Ike did play in the intrasquad game today and said he hasn't had any symptoms, so there's that.

Edited by nmigliore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be nothing too severe or it could be bad. Conor Jackson had a severe case of this in 2009 and played in only 30 games.

Ike did play in the intrasquad game today and said he hasn't had any symptoms, so there's that.

Too bad we have to rely on the Met medical team not to screw him up any further :P

This deserves an 'Oh, Good Grief!' Charlie Brown-style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to mention the fact they owe millions to numerous entities as it is. Plus they haven't exactly found many takers for the non controlling $20 million shares of the team since all but one of the ones that have been 'sold' went to SNY or members of the Wilpon and Katz families lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we need new owners.

ESPN- Mets Owners to pay $83Mill. Trial for more coming up

Not everything has gone against the Wilpons in these proceedings, but the momentum has definitively been against them. People think Vanderbeek is in deep water, imagine if Picard gets the $303M award. How could it not hurt Mets operations?

We all know that the Wilpons are incompetent clowns who are oblivious to the fact they are not good for the Mets nor baseball. But I think they only way they disappear is if fate forces their hands. I don't they'll ever sell the team willingly. Just hope that Alderson can build a team without the Wilpons getting in his way...we've seen good GMs build winners that don't necessarily cost zillions of dollars. As Mets fans that's all we have...because let's face it, their days as a big-market team (in terms of buying top players) are gone. Now the Mets have to build the way the Oaklands and the Minnesotas do.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...because let's face it, their days as a big-market team (in terms of buying top players) are gone. Now the Mets have to build the way the Oaklands and the Minnesotas do.

You're definitely being extreme here. You seriously think the Mets will never sustain a legitimate, $100M+ payroll again? That's crazy talk. This isn't Pittsburgh. This isn't Florida where nobody cares about baseball. This isn't Kansas City. This is New York, the biggest baseball market in the world.

Something's gotta give with the Wilpon situation at some point; either they recover or are forced out. New ownership would be preferable and probably expedite the process of bringing the payroll back up to respectable standards. Also, Oakland is routinely in the bottom-tier of payrolls; there's no way the Mets would stoop that far, even with the Wilpons' current mess.

The good news in the meantime is that the current front office is one I greatly trust while operating under a tight budget.

Edited by nmigliore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're definitely being extreme here. You seriously think the Mets will never sustain a legitimate, $100M+ payroll again? That's crazy talk. This isn't Pittsburgh. This isn't Florida where nobody cares about baseball. This isn't Kansas City. This is New York, the biggest baseball market in the world.

Something's gotta give with the Wilpon situation at some point; either they recover or are forced out. New ownership would be preferable and probably expedite the process of bringing the payroll back up to respectable standards. Also, Oakland is routinely in the bottom-tier of payrolls; there's no way the Mets would stoop that far, even with the Wilpons' current mess.

The good news in the meantime is that the current front office is one I greatly trust while operating under a tight budget.

No, I wouldn't say never, though I can see how what I wrote could be interpreted that way. I meant for at least the forseeable future...I'm thinking 5-10 year range if the Wilpons still own the team...sadly we probably won't know just how bad their situation is for quite a while yet...if they're gone, then who knows? Obviously it depends on how deep the new owner's pockets are, and how much he wants to sink into the on-field product.

Also, clearly even with the Wilpons around, the team should be at least middle-market in terms of where their payroll falls...they're not going to be be top-5 anytime soon...but that approach wasn't doing much for them anyway. I think Alderson is clearly the right guy for this franchise at this time.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I wouldn't say never, though I can see how what I wrote could be interpreted that way. I meant for at least the forseeable future...I'm thinking 5-10 year range if the Wilpons still own the team...sadly we probably won't know just how bad their situation is for quite a while yet...if they're gone, then who knows? Obviously it depends on how deep the new owner's pockets are, and how much he wants to sink into the on-field product.

Understood, sorry for the misinterpretation. I agree though; the "in-between" time of the fallout (like now) could be disappointing, payroll-wise, unless Selig steps in. If they ever gave up full control of the team (by choice or by force), I'm sure a lot of people would line up for it though; a baseball team in New York is too salivating.

Edited by nmigliore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Understood, sorry for the misinterpretation. I agree though; the "in-between" time of the fallout (like now) could be disappointing, payroll-wise, unless Selig steps in. If they ever gave up full control of the team (by choice or by force), I'm sure a lot of people would line up for it though; a baseball team in New York is too salivating.

The funny thing is, I don't see the reduction in the payroll as being a bad thing, as long as Sandy is given the time and enough resources to build a farm that can churn out solid to upper-echelon-type ballplayers at a reasonable rate. I don't think the Mets have to spend with the top payroll teams to succeed. And the sad thing is I think, deep down, the Wilpons do care about the team and do mean well, but they never seem to know how to go about their business the right way, ever. Everything they touch has a way of turning to sh!t, and it seems like they harder they try NOT to be like that, the worse they get.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah it seems to go in cycles with the Wilpons. We were pretty small-market for a while in the mid 90's too and that didn't work until they finally jumped in both feet with the Piazzas, Venturas, etc.

Almost forgot, I did have plans to go out tonight but since they got canceled might as well watch the first ST game lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah it seems to go in cycles with the Wilpons. We were pretty small-market for a while in the mid 90's too and that didn't work until they finally jumped in both feet with the Piazzas, Venturas, etc.

Almost forgot, I did have plans to go out tonight but since they got canceled might as well watch the first ST game lol.

I know I told this story before, but in '98, the Mets were 22-22 (or something like that) and had no juice (especially offensively), despite good pitching (Al Leiter and Rick Reed had gotten off to terrific starts...the staff ERA was around 3.00 or so at that point in the season). Mike Piazza had been just traded to Florida from the Dodgers and was still clearly on the block, and was even more clearly what the blah Mets needed at the time. The Mets had just lost a lifeless afternoon game against the Reds on a cold spring day, and it was estimated that about 5000 fans (tops) had shown up. Fans started calling into Mike Francesca, complaining about how dull the Mets were, and how there was a player available in Piazza who was tailor-made for New York who could definitely give the Mets some life...Francesca then stated that he felt the Wilpons had not been doing right by their fans, and had then-GM Steve Phillips come onto the show. Though GMs clearly have to be careful with what they say in regards to other teams' players, Phillips basically made it seem like the Mets would not have much interest in Piazza, and that he didn't want to cough up too many "chips" (Phillips used this word over and over again) for just one player. I was listening to the show that day and I remember thinking "Holy sh!t Steve, are you fvcking kidding me with this bullsh!t?!"

Francesca then shredded Phillips and the Wilpons, and fans calling in followed suit, calling the Wilpons cheap, clueless, indifferent to their fans...you name it. Fatso then had Fred Wilpon come on the show, and he then questioned (in a roundabout way) Wilpon about Phillips basically saying the Mets wouldn't go after a guy like Piazza, and that Wilpon hadn't been fair to his fanbase. Wilpon replied by saying, as much as he could, that of course the Mets would add a guy like Piazza if he was available. Supposedly not long after that interview, an irate Wilpon called Phillips and more or less told him "I don't care what you have to do or your precious 'chips', get this guy and get him NOW"

Anyway, that move supposedly ushered in two simultaneous eras: the Wilpons spending money again, and the Wilpons listening to the radio to gauge fan interest, feedback, and reactions.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do remember Phillips' quote about not wanting to 'duplicate' the position, meaning since they had Hundley they didn't want a catcher, but as it turned out Hundley was finished as a big time player anyway.

The real funny part is none of the guys we gave up turned out to be anything anyway, though I forget if Preston Wilson was part of the deal or another Marlins trade.

Edited by NJDevs4978

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wilson had some decent years, but that trade was an ultimate win. I was just 7 at the time but even then I knew who Big Mike was. :lol: Definitely my favorite player growing up (and my father's favorite, though he's biased because of our Italian ways :P) and my favorite Met of all time.

I hope he goes into the Hall of Fame as a Met. Statistically, he was better with the Dodgers, but sentimentally he was better with the Mets. Plus he's been pretty open about wanting to go in as a Met.

He'll have his number retired at some point too. After his induction, I would guess.

Edited by nmigliore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do remember Phillips' quote about not wanting to 'duplicate' the position, meaning since they had Hundley they didn't want a catcher, but as it turned out Hundley was finished as a big time player anyway.

The real funny part is none of the guys we gave up turned out to be anything anyway, though I forget if Preston Wilson was part of the deal or another Marlins trade.

I remember Hundley being hurt too...I think their catchers were Tim Spehr and Alberto Castillo to start the season. Francesca kept hammering home the point that Piazza was a massive upgrade over Hundley.

The worst was when they tried to put Hundley in left field after he got healthy, and a ball went right over his glove...the next day, the backpage headline in the NYP read "Clod Hundley".

The guy who was supposed to be a big part of that deal was Ed Yarnall...he was 7-0 with an 0.26 ERA (not a misprint) in AA at the time of the trade. He did make it to the majors (played for the Yankees as well), but never did much.

Yeah, trade was definitely an ultimate win...Mets fans were openly turning their backs on the team before that deal was made.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the Mets' facebook page, Citi Field's new wall will be blue. I say, "good." It didn't have to be blue (didn't Shea have a green wall once upon a time?), but a little team theme-ing in our own building wouldn't hurt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading an article on DRaysBay (SB Nation Rays' blog) the other day in which they put together a list of their 2011 pitchers and their pitches that caused the most swing and misses. So yeah, I'm stealing the idea from them, and I thought it would be cool post here. We aren't dealing with anything too advanced here, simply our pitchers' pitches that generated the highest whiffs per swing; or in other words, the nastiest pitches among the 2011 pitching staff. So let's check it out, broken down by starters and relievers, and sorted highest to lowest.

2011 Starting Pitchers (min. 100 IP)

PITCHER, PITCH TYPE, WHIFF/SWING%

1. Capuano, changeup, 39.57%

2. Gee, changeup, 36.55%

3. Gee, curveball, 34.88%

4. Capuano, slider, 33.00%

5. Niese, curveball, 26.98%

2011 Relief Pitchers (min. 30 IP)

PITCHER, PITCH TYPE, WHIFF/SWING%

1. K-Rod, changeup, 51.66%

2. Acosta, slider, 43.52%

3. Parnell, slider, 40.48%

4. K-Rod, curveball, 36.73%

5. Byrdak, slider, 34.76%

Other observations/thoughts:

- Mike Pelfrey's sinker was the un-whiffiest pitch among ALL pitches on the entire staff.

- K-Rod's changeup is ridiculous; a whiff for every other swing on it? That's incredible. I did not expect K-Rod's curve to rank that highly either.

- Acosta's slider was excellent; that's another I did not see ranking that highly.

- Gee's curveball may be the biggest surprise on the starter's group; he only threw 10% of the time, but it clearly induced a good amount of swings and misses. Jeremy Hellickson's curve was eerily similar in this department, as he threw it just 11% of the time bot got a whiff per swing on it 34.43% of the time. Like Hellickson, it appears as if Gee has 2 good swing and miss offerings in the curve and changeup, further boosting my confidence that his strikeout rate will go up.

- Guess who had the whiffiest fastball? D.J. Carrasco. Yes, seriously. Byrdak was 2nd, Igarashi 3rd. For starters, Gee had the whiffiest fastball.

- Dickey's knuckleball had a swing and miss rate of 20.08%; his changeup (yes, he threw one) was over 30% but I did not include it since he threw it less than 5% of the time.

- Best slider among starters? Chris Capuano.

- I miss Chris Capuano.

How do some newcomers look?

- Francisco's best swing and miss pitch (in 2011) was his splitter, coming in at just under 33%. He also induced a swing and miss rate of 23.60% on his heater, not bad for a guy who threw his fastball a hair under 70% of the time.

- Rauch threw 5 different pitches last season but it was easily his curveball that was his whiffiest pitch at 33.33%, but he only threw it 8% of the time. Rauch depends most heavily on his slider as his go-to offspeed pitch, but he saw his whiff/swing rate on that pitch drop from 28.87% in 2010 to just 19.83% in 2011.

- Ramon Ramirez is good at missing bats. His slider whiff/swing rate came in at nearly 41% while his changeup came in at 35.71%.

Anyway, that's all I have. It'll be interesting to track some of these whiff rates in 2012, but that's just some perspective on which pitches were the nastiest in 2011 among (some former and some current) Mets.

** All data is from Brooksbaseball.net, which is shaping up to be the best resource for PFX data on the internet. **

Edited by nmigliore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0